Manhattan. It’s a name of a very special place that over the last three years I’ve been very excited to call home. I don’t remember ever being so full of butterflies when I told my friends and family that my wife and I were off to discover new worlds and moving to New York City. I didn’t even stop to worry that they would be upset by the news. I mean who would turn down such an opportunity to progress your careers and dramatically change your life whilst embracing a not to dissimilar but still another culture!
Manhattan. It also happens to be the name of an iconic cocktail that I have made my personal quest to master. There are of course other excellent whisky cocktails Sazeracs, sours, Rob Roys and even the simple High Ball to name but a few! My opinion is that the Manhattan, like the city, is the “King of the Cocktails”!
In my quest to master this noble cocktail I keep experimenting with a number of combinations. Here are some of my favorite results so far with the names I’ve given them.
1. “The Kips Bay Classic.” Sazerac Rye, Carpano Antica Vermouth 2oz of each (1-1), a dash of orange bitters. Stirred over ice and strained into a suitable glass. Served with a twisted orange peal that I have touched around the glass rim. The candied spices and rich vanilla of the Sazerac Rye plays off wonderfully against the bitter peal and the rich fruit of the Carpano.
2. “The Village.” Delaware Phoenix Rye, Carpano Antica (1-1), a dash orange bitters, half spoon of cherry juice. Stirred over ice and strained. Served with a Maraschino cherry. This combination works a treat. The nose full of spiced cherry, bitter oranges and caraway seed. The palate has this awesome forward herbal and anise tone and orange peal reminiscent of marmalade. The finish is crisp and dry.
3 “The Murray Hill.” Parkers Heritage Bourbon, Carpano Antica (1-1/2), orange bitters. Served again with a Maraschino cherry. This is my most opulent Manhattan to date! It has the most wonderfully thick and buttery texture. Their is loads of rich vanilla, caramel and butter candy. This Parkers Heritage was a blend of two 11 year old bourbons one of which was wheated. I think this may have something to do with it!
However you enjoy your Manhattans I feel half the fun is experimentation. Please let me know what your favorites are and how you get on trying my versions.